Dominus Hibernie/Rex Hiberniae: pre-modern Ireland, 1200-1801

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Date / time
Date(s) - 21 March - 23 March
All day


Dominus Hibernie / Rex HiberniaeLord of Ireland / King of IrelandTiarna na hÉireann / Rí na hÉireann

Location: The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU

From the late-twelfth-century conquest to the union of the kingdoms, Ireland was a key constituent element of the dominions of the monarchs of England and Great Britain, their royal title and identity. Over six centuries institutions, policies and attitudes developed to enable the crown to tackle the challenges of governing Ireland and its inhabitants. The records which such processes generated are voluminous and afford rich, multi-faceted insights into the administration of pre-modern Ireland, its political and legal culture, its geography, environment, society, economy and trade. As the custodian of the records of royal government, The National Archives arguably holds the world’s most important collection of records of relevance to the history of pre-modern Ireland but it remains under-utilised.

In bringing together historians of medieval and early modern Ireland, this symposium aims to facilitate discussion of continuity and change across six centuries of Irish history by putting into sharper focus the collections with relevance to pre-modern Ireland at The National Archives. It also aims to consider the archival context and history of this vast collection.



Thursday 21 March (Day 1)

  • 12:00 | Registration (please note that lunch is not provided before the start of the conference)
  • 13:00 | Welcome and introduction. Jeff James, CEO and Keeper of Archives, The National Archives, Adrian O’Neill, Ambassador of Ireland to the United Kingdom
  • 13:15 | Keynote: Professor Robin Frame, Durham University Historians of medieval Ireland and the Public Records: retrospect and prospects
  • 14:30 | Coffee break
  • 14:45 | Panel session 1Dr Annaleigh Margey, Dundalk Institute of Technology: Thinking geographically: cartography and state administration in early modern Ireland; Dr Neil Johnston, The National Archives: The politics of counsel in seventeenth-century Ireland
  • 16:15 | End of day 1

Friday 22 March (Day 2)

  • 09:00 | Panel session 2 Professor Brendan Smith, University of Bristol: Medieval Ireland in The National Archives; Dr Bernadette Cunningham, Royal Irish Academy: Governing Connacht: archival sources for the development of a provincial administration in the west of Ireland, 1560-1630
  • 10:30 | Coffee break
  • 11:00 | Keynote: Professor Patricia Palmer, National University of Ireland, Maynooth: ‘To Advertise of Every Common Person’: Extending the Cast List of Early Modern Ireland
  • 12:30 | Lunch
  • 13:15 | Panel session 3 Dr Peter Crooks, Trinity College Dublin: Archival Medievalism: The Public Record Office (Chancery Lane) and its precursors in Ireland’s Search for a Usable Past; Professor John McCafferty, University College Dublin / Irish Manuscripts Commission: State Papers, State formation: views from Dublin Castle during Ireland’s English centuries
  • 14:45 | Coffee break
  • 15:15 | Panel session 4 Dr Paul Dryburgh, The National Archives: Escheators never prosper: managing the landed economy of medieval Ireland; Dr Ivar McGrath, University College Dublin: Managing Parliament and Making Money: Government, Political Undertakers, ‘Patriots’ and Taxation in early Hanoverian Ireland
  • 16:45 | Break
  • 17:00 | Panel session 5 Dr Sean Cunningham, The National Archives: Sir Richard Edgcombe’s Voyage into Ireland in 1488: the first steps of Tudor interaction with Irish politics and society, 1485-90; Dr Rachel Wilson, University of Leeds: ‘The usual ceremonies’: the arrival and inauguration of Ireland’s Lords Lieutenant during the eighteenth century
  • 18:30 | End of day 2

Saturday 23 March (Day 3)

  • 09:30 | Panel session 6 Dr Beth Hartland, Victoria County History of England: The Importance of Representation in the Governance of the Lordship of Ireland; Dr Brendan Kane, University of Connecticut: Legitimating power in Irish-English relations, 1169-1832
  • 11:00 | Coffee Break
  • 11:30 | Keynote: Professor David Hayton, Queen’s University Belfast: Anglo-Irish government, 1690–1750: administrative records in a composite state
  • 13.00 | Lunch
  • 14.00 | Panel session 7 and closing remarks. Dr David Green, Harlaxton College: Ireland and the Plantagenet Estates: Government from Within and Without; Dr Coleman Dennehy, University College Dublin: Parliament in early modern Ireland
  • 15:30 | Conference close